Online shopping is a growing business. Are you ready for it? Can you insure availability of your products on stock? How correct is your stock count? Do you already count on a daily basis? RFID will make you say yes to all of these questions.
A few days ago I was doing some online shopping. I was supposed
to buy similar outfits for my friends to a specific event. Well, it
turned out to be a mission impossible.
I found myself surfing on a website of a popular international
apparel retailer, and was extremely happy to find out that this
retailer would entirely provide my team the matching outfits. I
managed to find everything: only some trousers did not have short
enough pant legs, but shortening the pant legs of the next length
available would be a very easy task if I really was able to get
everything else in all the needed sizes via this website.
Delighted I clicked my way to the checkout and was keenly
waiting for the order confirmation to arrive by e-mail. When I got
the confirmation, I was amazed. The amount I had paid was not
correct. And this they did not tell me at the phase of payment.
There must have been some kind of a mistake.
I counted all the items ordered and noticed that approximately
25% of the goods ordered were missing both from the order
confirmation and from the amount I had paid. I couldn't believe my
eyes! The website claimed everything I ordered would be ready and
available for delivery!
After talking to a friendly lady at the customer service, I had
to cancel my whole order. It turned out that there stock count on
the website was incorrect, and that the company was unable to
deliver me everything I wanted. This fact really ruined the idea of
the matching outfits so I had to cancel everything and again, start
After the non-successful online shopping mentioned above, I made
the conclusion that the retailer did not use RFID. With RFID such
an annoying event would never have taken place. When items are RFID
tagged the stock counts are updated 24-7, hence no sale need go
missing. Retailer, think about your customer shopping online: what
would their reaction be in a situation when they have found
something they want to purchase, but yet after confirmation and
payment they find out that the product is out of stock? Not happy,
Also, click-and-collect services are on constant growth: many
retailers have realized the benefits of such service. What makes
this especially interesting is the limited space to display and
stock all the possible products within the store. Instead,
customers can order something online and choose a shop in which to
pick up their purchased items. Both from the consumer and retailer
point of view this is a flexible method of operation: if the
item does not fit, it will be sold in the shop. And, when the
consumer comes to pick the item up, he/she might also pick up
something more than just the ordered item. These customers stopping
by to pick up their items may be traditional online shoppers but
when they come to pick up their purchases, wouldn't you, as a
retailer, want to offer the customer something nice that really
matches with the new garment?
I understand that updating the stock count in online business is
rather complex if the system is based on product barcodes. What do
you think: would now be a good moment to jump onboard the RFID